Saturday, October 29, 2011

The worm turns on pastor Tom Gates

Bad decisions can come back to haunt you. My first hint that something was wrong with the youth pastor Travis Bransetter case was a comment on my original post.

Via Logan Resident

The rest of the story is that the family of the VICTIM chose NOT to go forward with this 8 months ago. It wasn't to protect the abuser, it was to protect to victim. What from? From precisely this. Doesn't 'the church' have a responsibility to protect the victim, if they request it.

Even though a name wasn't given in the paper, what 'non-identifying' information was given was enough that people in this small town know exactly who the victim was. The family was dealing with it, no one else was in danger. But because someone decided to interfere, this family is going through the nightmare again. The family of the victim didn't want to pursue this, but now they are being forced to do so.

Why should the church make a statement for the benefit of the press? So sites like this can twist it? The legitimate press can't even get the facts straight.

I don’t see this reasoning used very often any more. It reminds me of the old Baptists approach. You know; pass the abusive pastor.

Parents make bad choices. They get to live with the results. I’m pretty sure I would be focused on making sure the monster who raped my daughter did not move on to other children. By choosing to protect the victim, they deny her access to counseling (read Ohio’s mandatory reporter law) and allow a potential child molester loose in their city. The church does its members a disservice too. How many young mothers knew their daughters were exposed to this man? The church has a responsibility, and it’s not to hide the story and protect itself from public scrutiny. Transparency must be at the heart of a healthily church.

The Logan Daily News posted a story called: Church accused of keeping parents in the dark. They make the same point. Members of the church want to know why they were not told.

When asked if the church ever notified parents of Logan Christian students about the allegations, Senior Pastor Tom Gates declined to comment on specifics. “That all has to deal with the case, and I can’t get into that,” he claimed on Wednesday.

But according to one parent, the church did not tell about the allegations when it first became known in February. The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed concern that the church has failed in it’s responsibility to the youth.

Pastor Tom Gates is playing a dangerous game. I hope the authorities call him on it. Ohio’s mandatory reporter law specifically excludes clergy if they find out about he abuse during spiritual counseling. All other bets are off. Let’s hope the authorities file charges against Gates for his irresponsible behavior. His actions place the community and its children at risk.